Date Published: 29-Jan-2010
HEADSHOPS and casinos will be added to a list of undesirable businesses that includes sex shops and lap dancing clubs, which may be excluded from opening near schools or residential areas in the city.
Although Galway City Council cannot prevent the proliferation of sex shops and lap dancing clubs from opening in circumstances where there is a ‘change of use’ of the retail space, planners say a new clause in the Draft Galway City Development Plan gives them some control over new premises opening.
The plan states that there is a “presumption against the establishment of specific retail operators in the city centre. These uses may have a negative impact on the image of the city centre and may discourage the establishment of other retail developments”.
The presumption related to lap dancing clubs and sex shops but now also includes casinos and headshops, which sell legal hallucinogenic substances, following a request from Labour Councillor Collette Connolly.
Senior Planner Helen Coleman said it was not possible to introduce a total ban on the establishment of these types of businesses but the draft plan “gives us great comfort if we want to control and turn down applications” for these retail outlets in residential areas and near sensitive areas such as schools.
Cllr Terry O’Flaherty said the city’s drugs taskforce would be making a submission on the draft plan that will urge the Council to take planning measures to restrict headshops.
Meanwhile, Galway West Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey has welcomed indications from the Minister with Responsibility for Drugs, John Curran TD, that he would like to see Headshops banned. Deputy Fahey wants to see headshops and the so-called ‘legal highs’ that they sell banned because he believes they represent a significant danger to young people.
“I was happy to hear the Minister with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, John Curran TD, speak so strongly at a conference organised by the Regional Drugs Task Forces in Mullingar this week.”
“There is no doubt that there is a growing problem with these shops, and we may not know the true damage they are doing for some years. That is why I believe it is important we take action now.
“It is simply not right that you can drive down a main street in any town or city in Ireland and see shops advertising ‘seeds’ akin to cannabis seeds, or ‘snow’, which a common nickname for cocaine.”
“As a parent, it is worrying to think that young children can walk into a headshop and buy these products with ease and with no knowledge of the potential dangers, as the ‘legal’ tag insinuates that the product is safe,” added Deputy Fahey.
For more on the draft City Development Plan see page 13 of this week’s City Tribune
- Page 1 – Concern over plans to close city streets to cars
- Page 1 & 11 – Shock at decision to ditch Framework Plan
- Page 2 – Council to implement Taxi agreement
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
Athenry FC 1
Kilbarrack United 2
(After extra time)
For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.
On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.
An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.
However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.
They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.
With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.
Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.
Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.
Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.